Monday, 12 September 2016

Part nine.

Photos on public Facebook page.  Photos From the English Camino.

First, and most importantly. Thank you to the person who donated to one of the charities I am walking for. You didn't leave your name but I very grateful to you. Thank you. And thanks to all the others who did leave their names. I can assure you that as I pay all my own expenses every penny donated goes to the charity.

Last night  I had dinner  in the hotel and the Spanish waiter was a classic. He was around 60 years old, 5ft 4" with long dark hair and back horn rimmed glasses. He sported a 1939 dictator mustache and wore a black waistcoat, pinned stripped trousers and an opened neck, used to be white shirt.

He was on his own and was attempting to serve a table with ten on. Four with a four on, a few with two on and me, with one one. He dashed between tables muttering to himself constantly. The menu was in Spainish. I could make I out two salads but not the third. That, I was told was sup. 'Sup?', I queried. "Si, sup.' He made a up and  down movement to his mouth while making a sucking sound.  I got it soup. Fantastic. I would have that. Ten minutes later I got a Russian salad. My soup or sup for one was on a table for ten and, as they were Irish and very polite were spooning it from the metal bowl while wondering who was going to raise the subject with the moustachioed waiter who was approaching a table of four with what I think may have been fish. But it was waving around so fast in his hand it was difficult to see.

Eventually I got my sup, sorry, soup. Enough, I would add, for ten. I helped myself to thee portions of delicious vegetable broth overflowing with cabbage, potato, and leeks. Gosh I love this peasant food.
Realising his mistake the metal bowl from which I was about to take a forth portion was whipped from under my nose. The Irish by this time were well into the vino and didn't appear to care what they were eating.

Other customers were tapping their fingers on pristine white table clothes totally unsullied by the food they had ordered ten minutes earlier. Our frantically overworked waiter looked around the room and made for the loudest drumming. He was obviously an expert in the art of the nightly cock up.

Next was the main course. 'Fish' he said pointing at something uniteligable to me on the menu. If I had dared ask what type I could have ended up missing my flight home. So to be on the safe side I ordered the speciality of the house. A Milinasy. It turned out to be chips with a what could possibly have been,  although without a public health examination there was no knowing,  pork. Whatever it was I would have preferred the soup back.

I didn't have the heart to look around the rest of the room, for fear I might see the skeletons of those that never got fed and others hurridly making nooses out of napkins.  I scoffed my ice cream, never knowing what ruzz or pludding might be.

When it came to paying the bill it was a bit of a stand off. It was 12 euro. I proffered  a twenty euro note. I got three euro coins in change. I waited. He looked at me, we were bull and
matador. Eventually he placed a five euro note on the table. It would appear I was the matador. I collected up, the note and left. The quite guffaw as the three euro coins were scooped off the table made me realise that perhaps, after all, the bull had won.

At the end of the day deservedly so. He worked jolly hard dancing around the room before stopping to peer, Meercat like around him to see who was missing what', and checking that the right food has landed where it should have!

The meal was not that good and the only thing that I remember that was good was the house white wine. And the only other  thing I remember before crashing out is that before quaffing it I had taken two paracetamol and one ibuprofen before the meal for my Swollen knee. How I managed to wake up, let alone get up the following day I shall never know.

Now I have to make a mad dash for it. The weather today is not too bad and I think I can get in a 32kms dash to the next town. That leaves another 32kms on Tuesday when they are forecasting heavy  

I breakfasted with the Irish contingent. They were all from Cork and had a lovely lilting accent. It was like sitting at a table  full of Terry Wogans. At 0700 I was out the door and into the dark. Through the town gates and into the woods. Now I had a problem. My head torch was not working and it was like walking into a tin of black paint. Opposite the entrance to the wood was a gaggle of  Spanish  ladies, one of whome had a head torch. I entered the wood and waited. Sure enough I found by keeping a little distance ahead she would light my way. I was lucky. Very lucky, for close to my right was a steep bank that was impossible to see without a light. I kept just far enough ahead not to be a threat eventually coming back  to a road where I could pick up the concrete way markers.

The ladies were making a ferocious noise behind me. Every single one of them was talking, very  loudly, and at the same time. No one was listening. As we passed through a small village bedroom lights would come on. I'm surprised they did not get covered in night soil.

It was getting lighter and I could manage on my own. Through farmyards with concrete paths that cats had trod on before the concrete had set. Through pine woods and small hamlets. All the time my boots pounded a metronomic and hypnotic beat. The weather closed and became cold and misty that soon became a drizzle that got into the bones. The smell of pine intermingled with wood smoke and silage. Huge machines with  vicious looking teeth swept through fields out of which tractors emerged, their trailers full with mashed sweetcorn.  And all the time the drizzle and mist swirled into every bone and sinew.

At 1400 I reached my destination and threw myself into the room.  It had been a cold wet miserable day. Which was just about how I felt.

Checking on google maps it looks like a six hour, 30kms trek to The town of Finesterre. You won't want to read about me walking on the black stuff so my final blog will be in two days time.

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